Jokowi, Marcos Jr told: Mary Jane clemency, freedom would be a great gift to Filipinos

Press Statement
08 January 2024

Jokowi, Marcos Jr told: Mary Jane clemency, freedom would be a great gift to Filipinos

In time for Malacañang’s announcement that Indonesian president Joko Widodo, also known as “Jokowi,” will visit the Philippines on January 9 to 11, we in Migrante-International are re-asserting our demand: grant Mary Jane Veloso clemency and freedom now!

January 10 is also Mary Jane’s 39th birthday, and her family, friends and supporters wish her clemency and freedom on her birthday.

We support Mary Jane’s family led by Nanay Celia and Tatay Cesar, as well as her friends and supporters, in their plan to deliver an appeal letter to Presidents Bongbong Marcos and Widodo in time for the latter’s visit and Mary Jane’s birthday. We call on the two presidents to meet Mary Jane’s family, if not including her friends and supporters. 

Granting Mary Jane clemency and freedom would be a great gift to Filipino migrants and people. Mary Jane is a victim of human and drug trafficking. She has been in prison abroad since 2010 and has suffered more than enough. 

Despite a stay in her execution in 2015, the prosecution of her illegal recruiters, and numerous calls for her freedom, Mary Jane remains imprisoned in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. She should be granted clemency and freedom and should be home by now, living with and helping out her two sons and ageing parents. 

Mary Jane’s story resonates with the Filipino migrants and people. Bringing her home would make many of us very happy. It would affirm the historical and cultural kinship between the Filipino and Indonesian people. Mary Jane is a victim of joblessness in the Philippines and of unscrupulous individuals who take advantage of poor Filipinos who are desperate to find employment.  

Many Filipinos supported protests calling for a stay in her execution in 2015, forcing the Noynoy Aquino regime to echo this call. Many Filipinos also supported the various activities and protests calling for Mary Jane’s clemency and freedom that were launched since. 

The Bongbong Marcos Jr regime claims that it has asked the Indonesian president before to grant Mary Jane clemency and freedom. Many organizations and personalities in Indonesia itself have supported the call for Mary Jane’s return home. 

We are calling on Marcos Jr to raise the issue of Mary Jane’s clemency and freedom when he talks to Jokowi. We hope that during his stay in the Philippines, Jokowi will make the important announcement that we Filipino migrants and people have been waiting for: Mary Jane’s clemency, freedom and return to the Philippines.